Man sues hospital for $870M, says wife's C-section caused him 'psychotic illness'

An Australian man tried to sue a hospital in Melbourne over claims that he developed a “psychotic illness” as a result of watching his wife give birth via caesarean section.

Anil Koppula sued the Royal Women’s Hospital, where his wife gave birth in January 2018, for A$1 billion (nearly C$870 million), according to the local TV news station 7News.

Though his wife birthed a healthy baby, Koppula claimed the hospital breached its duty of care owed to him by allowing him to watch the C-section. In his legal claim — filed several years after the birth — Koppula said he is owed damages because of his alleged life-changing psychological injury.

He additionally claimed the psychotic illness led to a “breakdown of his marriage.”

Koppula said he was “encouraged, or permitted, to observe the delivery” and saw his wife’s “organs and blood” during the procedure, which led to the alleged illness’ onset.

The Royal Women’s Hospital has denied ever breaching a duty of care for Koppula.

When Judge James Gorton read his judgment in the case on Monday, he did not side with Koppula. Gorton dismissed the lawsuit and called the claim an “abuse of process.”

A medical examination of Koppula was completed as part of the trial proceedings. The panel found that the degree of Koppula’s psychiatric impairment was insufficient.

Koppula, who chose to represent himself in court, said he disagreed with the evaluation.

The judge determined Koppula is owed no damages because he did not suffer any economic loss and his alleged illness does not meet the threshold for what is considered a “serious injury.”

A cesarean section is a common surgical procedure that sees an obstetrician cut into a pregnant person’s belly and uterus in order to give birth. C-sections are often performed when a vaginal delivery is difficult or dangerous, in instances including when the baby is too large, in the wrong position or if a mother’s health is at risk.

In Canada, about one in five pregnant women gives birth by caesarean every year.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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